Marine Corps Osprey Squadron Commander in Pacific Fired

Lt. Col. Bryan Swenson. Marine Corps photo
Lt. Col. Bryan Swenson. Marine Corps photo

The commanding officer of an Okinawa-based MV-22 Osprey squadron has been relieved of command due to loss of trust in his ability to command, the Marine Corps said this week.

Lt. Col. Bryan Swenson, commander of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 (Reinforced), was removed from his post Jan. 26 by Brig. Gen. Thomas Weidley, commanding general of 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, 1st MAW spokeswoman 1st Lt. Karolina Foote confirmed to Military.com. The news was first reported by Marine Corps Times.

The relief comes six months after three Marines were killed when an Osprey attached to VMM-265 crashed off the coast of Australia following takeoff from the amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard. The cause of that tragic crash has yet to be made public.

While officials did not release details about the cause of Swenson's firing, it may be an indicator that the investigation into the August crash is nearing completion.

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According to an archived biography since removed from the VMM-265 command page, Swenson entered the Corps in 1988 as an enlisted Marine and deployed in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm before earning his commission in 1997. He trained as a CH-53 Super Stallion pilot before transitioning to the Osprey in 2004, and served as a "plank owner," or founding member of two Osprey squadrons.

Maj. Christopher Denver, the executive officer for VMM-265, will take over as commanding officer for the time being, Foote said.

-- Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at hope.seck@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.

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